Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April 2014, 11:39 GMT

Norway: Process for a convention refugee to obtain citizenship

Publisher Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 May 1999
Citation / Document Symbol NOR31800.E
Cite as Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Norway: Process for a convention refugee to obtain citizenship, 1 May 1999, NOR31800.E, available at: [accessed 25 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


According to 12 May 1999 correspondence from a representative of the Visa section of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ottawa, a convention refugee would follow the same procedure as other applicants for Norwegian citizenship. That is:

Under Norwegian law you are not permitted to have citizenship in two countries. A foreign national who wishes to acquire Norwegian citizenship will be required to give up his/her former citizenship.

The Directorate of Immigration may grant you Norwegian citizenship if you satisfy the following criteria:

Are over 18 years of age (except children of parents who have previously applied for and been granted Norwegian citizenship),

Have lived in Norway for the past seven years consecutively,

Have a record of good conduct (i.e. you have not been convicted of any crime),

Do not owe more than NOK 20.000, in connection with maintenance payments.

You must be a permanent resident of Norway when you submit your application for citizenship.

According to the Secretariat of the Inter-Governmental Consultations on Asylum, Refugee and Migration Policies in Europe, North America and Australia, when a person is recognized as a convention refugee in Norway they receive a work or a residence permit that is initially granted for one year (Sept. 1997, 278). This right to residence also extends to the refugee's spouse and children under the age of 18 and there are also accompanying rights to education and social assistance (ibid.). In addition, according to Norway's Immigration Regulations, after a period of residence of three years in Norway a foreign national with a residence or work permit may apply for a "settlement permit" (18 Dec. 1992).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Kingdom of Norway. 18 December 1992. Regulations Concerning the Entry of Foreign Nationals into the Kingdom of Norway and Their Presence in the Realm (Immigration Regulations). (REFWORLD).

Royal Norwegian Embassy, Ottawa. 12 May 1999. Correspondence from Visa section.

Secretariat of the Inter-Governmental Consultations on Asylum, Refugee and Migration Policies in Europe, North America and Australia, Geneva. September 1997. Report on Asylum Procedures: Overview of Policies and Practices in IGC Participating States.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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